Excerpted from Science Not Fiction by Stephen Cass |
On the TV series Stargate Atlantis, the current installment from the Stargate franchise, a device small enough to be held in your hands provides the energy for an entire city. Called a Zero Point Module, the device glows with golden light and produces an almost unlimited supply of clean energy. But what if it were real?
The ZPM is based on the idea of Zero Point Energy. To understand this energy, picture a pendulum swinging beneath a grandfather clock. It will eventually be robbed of its energy by air resistance and come to a stop. In the world of quantum mechanics, a pendulum never fully stops – infinitely small oscillations will continue for eternity because that last teensy-weensy little bit of energy can never be removed. Even weirder, quantum physics tells us that ‘empty’ space is host to fields that are similarly eternally oscillating . In other words, even a vacuum has energy, and this is called Zero Point Energy.
One current leader in the field, astrophysicist Bernard Haish, got money several years ago from assorted government agencies like NASA and the Department of Defense to build one.
Obviously, someone believes Zero Point Energy is a reality that can be harnessed to provide massive amounts of energy, in essence, for free.